I look at my life now and wonder, how did I get to this point? Four years ago I packed up my entire life and moved from the good ol’ US of A to Sydney, Australia.
My life at the time consisted of enough stuff to fill up half a container. Things that I packed:
- The most comfortable bed in the world.
- A sofa bed (aka budget accommodation for visiting friends).
- A closet full of unfashionable clothes (the only kind of clothes available in small towns).
- A few pieces of furniture that wouldn’t fit in my parents’ house anymore.
- Kitchen stuff.
- A relationship that had run its course (That didn’t get transported in the container).
It was bizarre to think that my life could fit into a few cubic feet. Since then I’ve accumulated two dogs, a fiance (and his belongings), one quarter of an old house, and a reliable Honda.
Looking back on the move, I can’t believe how brave (or naive, or stupid) I was to take such a blind leap into the unknown. Ok, it wasn’t totally blind. It’s not like I hadn’t been to Sydney before. Truth be told, I was born in Australia but moved to California when I was fairly young. My family had come back a few times over the years, and I fell more in love with the Emerald City with each visit. At some point in High School I decided that I would one day call Sydney home.
But dreaming of living in Sydney and actually moving here were two totally different things! I had a job lined up before I arrived. Upon contacting the Australia branch of the company I worked for in the US, they practically offered me a job on the spot. My goal in contacting them was to simply let them know that sometime in the future I would like to transfer. Apparently there was a skills shortage in my area of expertise and they were desperate to fill an open position immediately. So three weeks later I arrived in Sydney with three suitcases to last until my stuff finished its leisurely sail across the Pacific.
Even though I had lived here many years ago, I didn’t know anybody in Sydney. Most people don’t keep in touch with people they met in pre-school, and I’m no exception. It’s daunting moving to a city of 4 million people and not knowing a single soul. Coming from a small town in California was liking walking into Cheers: everybody knows your name.
I realised when I got to Sydney that it was possible to be surrounded by people, but totally alone.